The Nosh Box Food Truck
The Global Village Festival - Akron, OH
The first Global Village Festival of Akron was held at Lock 3 in Akron last weekend. I admit- I went because of the food. I'd heard that a few of the food trucks from Cleveland were going to be there, so I stopped by. I'm glad to say, there was plenty of food- Wafa's Lebanese Eatery, The Pierogo Lady, Zyedeco Bistro Truck, Streat Mobile Bistro Truck, The Nosh Box Truck, and booths selling food from different international clubs.
The Nosh Box was offering tacos, burgers, and tater tots. I ordered two chicken tacos and the tater tots. The pulled chicken in the tacos was moist, flavorful, and nicely seasoned. It was served on soft flour tortillas and topped with black beans, corn, green and red cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream. The tater tots were crispy and seasoned with rosemary and sea salt, and were awesome!
Tater Tots with Sea Salt and Rosemary
When I went back up to the truck to get some more napkins, I saw a sign that said you could mix and match the tacos. I was bummed that I hadn’t noticed the sign before- I had really wanted to try the pork taco! I mentioned this to the couple that owns the truck (I feel bad that I didn’t get their names- I was too busy eating!). I wasn’t complaining- it was my fault that I hadn’t seen it. But, I was just lamenting that I had wanted to try the pork. The husband offered to give me a pork taco. I told him it was okay, but they insisted, and gave me one free of charge! The pork was terrific- I was really glad I got to try it! The owners were really friendly and said they often give food away to people, including the homeless that they come across in Cleveland.
The owners told me that that they will be at most Walnut Wednesdays in Cleveland, and will be up at Cleveland Public Square over the next few weeks on Tuesday and Friday. Stop by, say hello, and check out some of their amazing food!ross in Cleveland.ry and sea salt, and were awesome!
The 7th annual Hamburger Festival was held in Akron, Ohio last week. Many people attended and had a great time trying out burgers from many restaurants including Hodge Podge Food Truck, Max & Ermas, MotorMouth Food Truck, White Castle, The Steel Trolley Diner, Menches Bros., The Barley House, and many more ! There was live music, an eating competition, bobbing for burgers, and a competition in several categories between the restaurants. I was asked to judge again for a second year, and I happily agreed. Elaine Cicora from Scene Magazine and a group of guys from the Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board were my fellow judges.
We each sampled 25-30 burgers that had been entered in three different categories. All were good, and some were great. My favorites included a reuben burger (MotorMouth) and a bruchetta burger.
Reuben Burger From Motor Mouth Food Truck
Here are the top three in each burger category:
1st Place - MotorMouth Food Truck
2nd Place - Bob's Hamburg
Max & Erma's
1st Place - Eat 'n Park
2nd Place - Primo's
3rd Place - Menches Bros.
Creative Topping/Special Sauce
1st Place - Max & Erma's
2nd Place - Eat 'n Park
3rd Place - Steel Trolley Diner
1st Place - Barley House
2nd Place - Menches Bros.
3rd Place - MotorMouth Food Truck
The Kent Stage and its principle owner, Tom Simpson, in cooperation with Sunbeau Valley Farm has organized what may become an annual event in Ravenna. The "Rockin' Rib Fest", which benefits The Kent Stage, got underway Friday and runs through Sunday August 19th. It features four national award winning BBQ champions; Armadillo's, Mojo's Rib Shack, Pigfoot and Old Carolina.
The best part of the rib fest is the opportunity to taste a variety of outstanding ribs and sauces from these highly regarded teams. The second best part is listening to live music by The Soul Men, The Bluestones, Dark Side of the Moon, Jersey, Xtra Crispy, Couch Burner All-Stars and XELA . The third best part is that your parking, admission, the BBQ smoke smell and live music is FREE. You only pay for the food and beverage that you consume.
I visited the fest early Friday evening. The attendance on the perfect NE Ohio evening was light but a very steady stream of people trickled in. While there, I had the opportunity meet and talk to Tom and WNIR's Couch Burner, who was also on hand, about the event. Tom, an experienced event organizer and promoter, was not concerned about the light attendance. He saw this first night as a rehearsal for the rest of the weekend. I saw the rehearsal as a success. With the good weather expected for the rest of the weekend, I suspect that it will get crowded. Obviously word of this event has been getting out. Attendees that I spoke to, some of whom drove up to an hour to get here, heard plenty of advertisement on local radio stations.
When asked about his choice of Sunbeau Valley Farm as the venue, Tom said that he took the suggestion from WNIR's Bob Klaus. For those not familiar with the farm, this is a beautiful grounds that has been the long time home to the annual Ravenna Balloon Affair.
This being a non-competition event for the BBQ teams, I had time to speak to and ask the questions each team has heard a gazillion times before about what makes their ribs special and about which sauce is featured. In return, I received the expected, general answers about their smoking process, the types of wood they choose for the smoke and a description of the flavors of their sauces, particularly their award winners. And I can't blame them for not divulging more. If they told of their secrets, they'd seldom smoke another rib because everybody would do it themselves. What came through when I spoke to each team was deep pride in their process, their sauces and their final results. And that pride is reflected in the quality of each bite of each rib.
While my ears were being flooded with terrific, original blues music by Xtra Crispy, (guitarist John Gmerek, bassist Jerry Principe and drummer Tony Rockich) I ate so many ribs and tasted so many sauces that I thought my belly would bust. Folks, I promise you that there is not a bad bone to be had here as evidenced by the recognized accomplishments of each of these BBQ teams and my taste buds.
If you don't like ribs or smoked food, don't worry. There are food vendors on site. If you're looking for great ribs and an inexpensive, fun and tasty weekend event, head to Ravenna for the Rockin' Rib Fest and EAT UP !
Downtown Akron, Lock 3
August 18-19, 2012
The National Hamburger Festival is being held at Lock 3 in downtown Akron on August 18th and 19th of 2012.
I was a judge at the festival last year, and I am happy to say that I have been asked back to participate again this year. Judging was harder than I thought- taking a bite or two of a dozen burgers adds up! Still, I survived to tell about it, and I am eagerly looking forward to doing it again this year. I have to give it to the burger chefs- the range and variety of toppings and preparations (including battered and deep fried!) was impressive. If you want to see (and taste) for yourself, be sure to stop by this year!
812 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44303
Mr. Zub’s is located in the Highland Square area of Akron. If you're not familiar with the area, it's an eclectic neighborhood somewhat similar to Coventry (Cleaveland Hts... Not the area south of Akron), but much smaller. The decor at Mr. Zubs is nothing special, but the sure sandwiches are. They're located near the Highland Theater, all of the sandwich names are inspired by movie characters (and the Zubs logo is a stick of movie popcorn butter). There's a wide variety to choose from- chicken, turkey, deli meats, and vegetarian.
68543935" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-weight: normal; ">I chose the Sam Rothstein-corned beef, pastrami, capicola, and provolone on rye with brown mustard. The meat was lean but still had enough fat to give it some flavor, and the capicola and mustard added a nice spice.
My girlfriend chose the Ren McCormack- chicken shawarma on pita with garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle. The chicken shawarma was moist and nicely spiced, and it made for a nice sandwich. The only complaint was that the garlic mayo was too strong. It could have easily been cut in half with more mayo, or half as much could have been used. We love garlic, and except for being too strong, the mayo was good.
As for sides, they serve french fries, onion rings, cole slaw, chips...and tator tots! I love a good tot, and a fairly large basket of them arrived hot and crispy. (The Uncle Rico comes on a bagel with roast beef, tator tots, and onion and chive cream cheese)
I've been to Mr. Zubs several times, and I have yet to be disappointed. From the gyro to the deli sandwiches, everything has been good. Their menu of diverse and imaginative sandwiches is sure to have something for everyone. And if you're out on the town, its also a good place to satisfy your late night munchies. They're open until 3am every night (2 on Sundays), and the crowd gets more unique as the hours go on.